It’s incredible the difference just one year can make in a dog’s life. This time last December, one lost pup was fending for her life in the cold Ohio River — and today, she’s safe in a new forever home.
According to SWNS, the dog, now called Allie, swam 3,300 feet across the river from Evansville, Indiana, to Henderson County, Kentucky, after running away from home.
The local police and fire departments were called to help the dog, but were unsuccessful: the scared, skittish dog resisted their help, and she was almost hit by a barge.
Michelle Philips, a volunteer trainer from Indiana, joined the rescue mission before it was too late: “I raced down there and found several people watching her in the water and said she had gone under several times,” Michelle told SWNS.
But soon Allie made it across the river to Kentucky, and ran into the woods. The rescue volunteers then spent a week trying to gain the scared dog’s trust so they could bring her to safety.
The dog was resistant to leashes, but volunteers were able to lure her away from the woods and gain her trust using treats. “Allie had broke her collar but anytime she saw a leash she would back off,” It Takes a Village No-Kill Rescue wrote on Facebook. “The team lead her out of the woods and Allie followed.”
“They continued to work on gaining her trust in an open field. After more than 6 hours, we were able to get fencing around her and a lead line on her!!! Other than being tired and hungry, Allie appears in good health.”
Finally safe from harm, Allie was put in Michelle’s care. “We just brought her home and she went and laid down on our couch,” she told SWNS. “I don’t think she moved much that first night, we just let her be. She was extremely fearful of people, dog leashes, and just scared.”
Allie stayed with her for the next few months, and the dog trainer focused on improving the dog’s trust around people — and the hard work paid off.
“Believe it or not… Allie goes outside off-leash daily in their country setting home and never attempts to run away!” It Takes a Village wrote in an update. “Allie now understands that humans are not the scary beings she once thought.
Not only did Allie improve with the training, but she and Michelle started to form a real bond — so Michelle decided to make it official by adopting her!
“I really decided quite early on that she wasn’t going anywhere,” Michelle said. “I believe dogs are family and mine have a good life, every dog deserves a loving home and a chance. I could not stand to put her through anything more.
The inspiring update comes almost exactly a year after the dog was first found swimming the river: “I really thought, what better time than the year ‘anniversary’ of finding her?”